Burglars who targeted homes in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire are ordered to hand over assets

Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001
Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001
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Two men involved in burgling nearly 60 homes across Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridge have been ordered by a judge to hand over all their remaining assets.

The pair used homemade tools to smash open windows and patio doors which would normally be considered resistant to attack.

Among the properties targeted were homes in Micklesmere Drive, Ixworth, Nunnery Drive, Thetford; Robert Linge Crescent, Brandon; Church Road, Stowupland, South Park, Weeting and Manor Garth, Pakenham.

Police linked the men to their crimes thanks to photos they had taken of each other on mobile phones at the scenes.

Distinctive prints made by trainers worn by the burglars also helped identify them.

The raids at addresses across the three counties involved Mihai Gherghinesco, 33 and Adrian Budurcoiu, 21 who were jailed in November.

On Friday May 29 the two men were brought back to Ipswich Crown Court for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing designed to recoup as much as possible of what they gained from their offending.

Judge Martyn Levett heard that specialist financial investigators had looked into the assets of each man and concluded that Gherginesco had benefited by £31,402 and had £466 left which was ordered to be confiscated.

Budurcoiu was found to have gained £7,388 from his role in the break-ins but had just £1 left which Judge Levett ordered should be confiscated.

A third man, Traian Vasiluta, 22, who was jailed at the same time as the other two, is contesting the amount he is said to have gained.

Investigators have put the figure at £70,194 and say he has £7,318 available to hand over but Vasiluta is contesting the figures, the court heard. Judge Levett adjourned a decision on his case until a further hearing scheduled for August.

The string of burglaries committed by Vasiluta, Gherghinesco and Budurcoiu, all from Ipswich and who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle, saw not only jewellery and electrical goods being stolen but also duvets, kitchen utensils and food.

Gherghinesco was arrested on May 30 last year close to the Cambridgeshire police HQ and was found to have a homemade window smashing tool hanging around his neck and stolen items in the vehicle he was driving.

Vasiluta was detained in June 14 in Foxhall Road, Ipswich when police stopped a car and found he too had one of the window tools and a number of stolen items.

Miss Ritchie said a search of an address in Martin Road, Ipswich where the three men were living revealed a large quantity of stolen property in a hidden room in the attic.

The court heard that most of the burglaries took place at night, some when residents were on holiday and one when a man was recovering from a heart attack.

Gherghinesco admitted involvement in 17 burglaries, Vasiluta 38 and Budurcoiu 4.

Lawyers representing the three men said they had expressed genuine remorse.

In November Gherghinesco and Vasiluta were sentenced to seven years and four months each and Burducoiu to five years and four months.